Thursday, November 30, 2023

Barcelona´s Henry not pining for Premier League return

SoccerNews in English Premier League, La Liga 20 Apr 2008


Barcelona vice-president Ferran Soriano insisted on Sunday that French star Thierry Henry was not pining for a return to the Premier League and would be at the Catalan club next season.

Former Arsenal striker Henry had been linked with a return to London.

But Soriano, speaking on Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme said: “I don't think so. I spoke with him at length a week ago and he is happy in Barcelona.

“We were a bit disappointed because the team we have is the team to win all competitions and we are not doing very well in the domestic championship (they only drew 0-0 on Saturday to lie a daunting nine points behind leaders Real Madrid who play later on Sunday). But apart from that he is fine and I'm sure he is not coming back to the UK.”

Asked if Henry misses the Premier League, Soriano said: “Not at all.”

Then quizzed whether he will remain with Barca next season, he said: “Yes.”

However Soriano refused to confirm that coach Frank Rijkaard would be in charge next year with the Dutchman linked with a switch to Stamford Bridge with manager Avram Grant's position as manager under the spotlight.

“You can never say 100 percent (he will stay) because at the end of the season we're going to review the performances of the players and coach,” Soriano added.

“I think he has no plan to leave Barcelona and go to Chelsea.

“We've decided not to talk about this until the end of the season because we are concentrated and very focused.

“The two matches against Manchester United are very important for them and for us. And we don't want to talk about anyone else.”

He continued: “We've been with him for five years and he has been doing an extremely good job. It can be difficult to manage such a big team with such a number of stars.

“It's not easy to manage Ronaldinho, Messi, Henry and Eto'o and the like so we like the way he works, his personal style and the way he represents the club.

“Obviously the fact we are not getting the results in the domestic league is the fault of everybody including us and including him but we are very happy with Frank Rijkaard.”

Soriano also revealed the club are completely focused on winning the Champions League ahead of their double header against United.

“It's one of the best matches you can watch this year or in the last year so everybody is waiting for it.

“Every competition is different and the players are very concentrated on the Champions League so the Champions League is going to be our thing.”


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